icelandic horses COWGIRL magazine
A herd of Icelandic horses grazing. Photo by Jonatan Pie.……

You may have a few guesses when it comes to the oldest horse breeds in existence. Some will surprise you though! These particular ones have had a huge influence in the horse industry as we know it. They come from all across the world. Some you would consider rare, while others are quite popular.

Oldest Horse Breeds

  1. Przewalski’s Horses
  2. Akhal-Teke Horse
  3. Norwegian Fjord Horse
  4. Arabian Horse
  5. Icelandic Horse

These are a few of the more popular breeds that have a long history. Others like the Mongolian Horse, Asturcon Pony, and Exmoor Pony have also existed for a thousand years or more!

An Arabian horse. Photo by Alois Wohlfahrt.

It can be hard to pinpoint the exact date that these breeds originated, but researches have some ideas. In the Middle East, there is archaeological evidence of horses with an Arabian look that dates back 4,500 years ago. Icelandic Horses can trace their history back to the 10th century. While their exact origin is unclear, the Norwegian Fjord Horse is at least 2,000 year old. Akhal-Teke Horses also have a long history with descriptions that make the breed over 3,000 years old. Przewalski’s Horses are said to be the last remaining truly wild horse.

Each of these breeds have a long and interesting history! Other than Przewalski’s Horses, these horses can be found in everyday barns. You might even be lucky enough to own one.